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It’s official: Keith is mayor

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By Kate Darnell

Mayor Pro-tem Jack Keith was sworn in as mayor at Tuesday evening’s city commission meeting.

After an unanimous vote to accept Mayor Brown’s resignation, Commissioner James New nominated Keith to fill the vacant mayor position for the remainder of the term.

“I would like to thank the members of the commission for the belief they had that I will do the best I can...” Keith said at the meeting.

Keith said while he recognized this was a temporary job, he will continue to work in the interest and desire of the commission.

With Keith serving as mayor and the public utilities commissioner position now vacant, Keith said the commission is looking for someone to serve in that capacity.

Keith said requirements for the commissioner position include that the individual is at least 21 years old and  that he/she resides in the city.

Keith asked that anyone interested in the position submit a written letter explaining their interest and qualifications to the city office by noon on Monday, June 1.

“We would like to complete the total membership of the commission as soon as we can,” Keith said.

Other business included:

•Attorney Skip Watson, on the behalf of Jess Burrier, along with Billy Fowler (Cynthiana-Harrison County Historical Society) addressed the commission regarding Burrier’s property on US 27 North near the bridge.

Rezoned and annexed into the city in 2006, a parcel of Burrier’s land was rezoned under a condition that the Cynthiana-Harrison County Historical Society (along with the city and county governments) would have the option to purchase the parcel that is believed to be of historical significance.

With the state renovating the US 27 North bridge, Watson said Burrier is interested in selling some nearby fill dirt (including that from the parcel containing the possible Civil War entrenchments).

If the zoning condition on the parcel was waived by the city, Fowler said the Historical Society would receive a cash donation from Burrier, and would expect the city/county governments to donate another piece of historical property to the group, specifically the Handy House, located in Flat Run Veterans’ Park.

“We’re trying to work out something that will be good for everyone,” said Fowler.

Watson told the commission that he and Fowler wished only to inform the commission on the negotiation they had reached, but expected no action from the commission.

“Personally I just need more information,” said Keith, adding that he was unsure that it was legal for the city/county to legally give away property.

No action was taken regarding the issue.

•Parks and Recreation Chairman Dr. Rick Arnold told commissioners the board had yet to find a definite home for the skateboarding equipment, but had some options in mind.

Arnold said options for a skateboarding park included some vacant factory parking lots or a new blacktop area built in Flat Run Veterans’ Park.

Arnold said once a park was found for the skaters, the S.W.A.P. (Skaters With A Purpose) and parents would be responsible for adopting their own charter, rules and supervision for the area.

“At  the joint county/city meeting we were certainly assured through their director that they’re quite responsible and they should be able to govern themselves,” Arnold said.

“I guess then mainly the question is does the city and county, and thus the recreation department wish or desire to provide the services to the skateboarders,” said Mattmiller. “...It sounds almost like we’re saying ‘no’...”

Mattmiller said he will be in contact with the owner of one vacant factory parking lot.

•Lena Datko, representing CEDA, addressed commissioners on the progress of the Westside Redevelopment Project.

Datko said CEDA received a total of seven signed agreements and had closed on three structures.

Commissioners voted to award the asbestos inspection bid for the project to Spectra Environmental LLC, not to exceed a maximum of $940.

Commissioners voted to award the project sign bid to Greg Lemons Signs, not to exceed $403 with sales tax.

Commissioners voted on a pay resolution to CDBG for the last month, with a total of $58,300.

•Cynthiana citizen Charlie Wohlwinder addressed the commission again regarding golf carts being permitted on city streets.

Wohlwinder said he met with Cynthiana Police Chief Ray Johnson about the safety concerns, including the law restricting golf carts from state highways, which would include Pike Street, Main Street, Oddville Avenue, Church Street and several other city streets.

Keith said he has concerns with golf carts crossing highways and crossing public property.

“I have serious concerns doing anything that crosses Pike Street,” Keith said.

Keith advised that Wohlwinder meet with Safety Commissioner Amanda Moore and Johnson, reporting their findings to the commission.

•The commission voted to hire John Green as an E911 Telecommunicator.

•The commission voted to accept the letter of engagement for audit service from Ray, Foley, Hensley and Company, PLLC, with total costs not to exceed $15,500.

•Commissioners voted to approve installation of a new chain-link fence at East Pleasant Street Park, with costs totaling $4,577.

•The Commission voted to offer employment to an individual as a Water Systems Distribution Coordinator.

•The commission voted to enter into executive session to discuss acquisition of property and litigation.

After reconvening in regular session, Keith said the commission had received information and certain documents involving parcels of land.

Commissioners voted to allow CEDA to proceed on the city’s behalf with the proposal discussed.

The Cynthiana City Commission will next meet on Tuesday, June 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Room in City Hall.